Compositions in Progress
- I just received a commission for a new choral composition from the Nampa Area Honor Choir in Idaho. I will be their guest clinician in November when they premiere the piece, which is a setting of the poem “The Robin” by American poet Witter Bynner. The piece will be accompanied by piano and strings.
- Summer and Winter breaks are the best times for me to compose! My plan for this winter (Dec 2018) is to focus my efforts on writing for piano. This is always an area that challenges me, so I want to devote some time to refining my skill for piano composition. Currently, my plan is to explore two ideas: 1) a piano duo (two pianos), and 2) a concerto-type work for piano with band, string ensemble, or full orchestra.
Summer PBS Broadcast of “A Family Portrait”
- In October of 2017 The Manchester Symphony Orchestra performed my oratorio “A Family Portrait” with soloists Daniel Belcher (baritone) and Judy Marlett (mezzo-soprano) and 190 choristers from three area high schools joining the Manchester Symphony Chorus and MU’s A Cappella Choir. The performance was video recorded and will be broadcast on PBS39 (Fort Wayne) at 2:30 p.m. on July 8th and again at 1:00 on August 26th. For further information about the broadcast, see the press release at Family Portrait Broadcast Press Release.
Compositions Recently Completed
- “Traveling Through Oceania” (March 2018) for chorus and children’s ensemble with piano, flute, clarinet, bass, and percussion. This was a collaborative commission from FAME music festival with Wabash County 4th graders. The children were divided into five location-specific groups who gathered information about Australia, Easter Island, Samoa, Hawaii, and New Zealand. Students were tasked with creating melodic contours based on the inflections and accents in greetings and farewells from each area. I used this material from the students to create melodic and rhythmic themes and ostinatos. Lyrics were the greetings in native languages as well as various statistics about each location.
- “Triptych” (Feb. 2018) for cello and violin. This piece was commissioned by Mikautadze Dance Theatre for their 10th Anniversary concert in June of 2018 (where it was premiered by Kristin Westover and Robert Lynn). The work consists of three movements: 1) Company, 2) David and Elizabeth, and 3) The Vibe.
- “After Apple-Picking” (Dec. 2017) for mezzo-soprano with piano, cello, clarinet, and violin. This setting of Robert Frost’s poem was composed in loving memory of beloved MU History Professor Dr. Katherine Tinsley who passed away after a car accident in June of 2017.
- “Your John Keats” (Sept. 2017) for baritone and piano. This nine-movement song cycle took five years to complete. Lyrics are derived from love letters addressed to Fanny Brawne by English Romantic poet John Keats. The listener travels along on the sweethearts’ journey from new-found love to loss, ending with Keats’ deathbed letter from far away Italy.